Petitioner obtains orders halting Ford Kenya NDC

Thursday, November 4th, 2021 00:00 | By
Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula (seated second from right) addresses a past press conference. Photo/PD/file

Today’s Ford Kenya National Delegates Conference hangs in the balance after a tribunal stopped the two warring factions from presiding over the event.

This is after a petitioner, Chrispinus Barasa obtained orders stopping both the Moses Wetang’ula-led faction and the rival wing headed by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi from conducting any NDC pending the hearing and determination of a leadership dispute in the party.

The Wetang’ula faction had slated its NDC for this morning at the Bomas of Kenya while the Wamunyinyi’s team were to hold theirs on Saturday. 

Contacted, Wetang’ula’s spokesperson Mandu Mandu dismissed the order terming it “fake”. “Just ignore it, we are proceeding with our NDC.”

But Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu, who is the Secretary General of the rival faction confirmed they had been served with the order and they would comply. 

The Wetang’ula faction was expected to use today’s meeting to officially expel renegade party officials among them Wamunyinyi and Eseli.

The NDC was expected to ratify the National Executive Committee recommendation to kick out the duo for allegedly rebelling against the Wetang’ula-led team. 

Wamunyinyi and Eseli, on one side, have for the last one year been fighting to take over control of the party from the Wetang’ula faction.

Presidential candidate

In May last year, the two orchestrated a coup against Wetang’ula which the latter dismissed, leading to a court battle.

The move follows Wetang’ula’s decision to obtain court orders suspending the implementation of a Gazette Notice announcing his removal as party leader.

Part of today’s NDC agenda was to nominate a presidential candidate and elect new party officials which would see Eseli and Wamunyinyi replaced.

Eseli had been the party’s Secretary General and Wamunyinyi the chairman of the party’s agriculture committee, before they were suspended after they staged an abortive coup.

The NDC  is also charged with amending the party’s Constitution to allow Ford Kenya to formally join the One Kenya Alliance (OKA).

Wetang’ula said it was their “primary goal as a party to have NDC and elect our national officials in March last year after the grassroots elections” but due to Covid 19 pandemic which hit the country in March 2020, the meeting was shelved following stringent measures that were imposed by the government.

Wetang’ula said the meeting, which would be both physical and virtual, would also be attended by ODM leader Raila Odinga. “We have a Secretariat that is working on the modalities on who will be in attendance physically and those who will follow the proceedings virtually.”

He said Ford-Kenya had invited other party leaders Martha Karua (Narc Kenya), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Cyrus Jirongo.

Court contempt

Besides the delegates, all the party’s MCAs from would be in attendance in order to participate in the amendments of some clauses in the constitution.

Eseli and Wamunyinyi axis had first called an NDC meeting which was to be held on November 6, 2021 but was postponed because Kasarani Indoor Arena Auditorium, which they intended to use as the meeting’s venue, has been closed by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

Mid last month, Ford-Kenya legal officer Benson Milimo wrote to Eseli and his legal team warning them over the planned NDC and demanded an apology and withdrawal of the notice, failure to which the party threatened to “swiftly execute and commence further contempt proceedings” against him.

Milimo argued that Eseli’s action amounted to contempt of court, saying he was ignoring the High Court orders cited in petition number 197 of 2020 that restrained him from acting or transacting business on behalf of the party.

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